When involved in a relationship with someone you care about, the fact that it takes two to make things work is quite obvious. Indeed, it does take both individuals who have invested in each other quite a bit of effort to make the relationship last.
“Effort” is a big term that carries a lot of meaning; it includes all of the actions you need to do in order to keep the many facets of a relationship in unison and harmony. Attitude is undeniably a part of that effort. Attitude has a powerful impact on all of your relationships, from friendships to spouses.
Even healthy relationships need an attitude adjustment by one or both individuals from time to time in order to keep them strong. There are good predictors of happy and successful marriages. Here are ways in which I decided to change mine.
I Changed My Thinking
As all attitude adjustments, this one took some time. I told myself I was going to do my very best to view each day as a gift and stay positive, no matter what. I was not going to let my job, coworkers, bills, or acquaintances bring me down emotionally. I knew that by becoming a happier person, while mastering the power of positive thinking, it would radiate towards my husband and even my own kids.
In order to foster a lasting relationship, I understood, without a doubt, that I had to be happy with my own self. This took a lot of time reading, adopting mantras, and even rising a little earlier before work to take time for myself and read daily devotions. It was most definitely worth it.
I Accepted His Faults
We all have things we do that are annoying. We all do. So, I thought about the things my husband did that annoyed me the most, which tended to be things I would nag him about. As a result, that would open up opportunities for arguing. I then decided to be brutally honest with myself, closed my eyes, and did a bit of intense reflection upon my life. I made a list, in my thoughts, of the things I did that were irritating or bothersome to him. Before I knew it, and only after a few moments, I could not count the number of things on both hands. I opened my eyes and thought, “Wow, he could really give me a hard time for all of the things I do… but he doesn’t.” This change was an easy fix after that moment of clarity.
I Adopted The Golden Rule
I made myself make a promise, a private, inner promise, to always treat him the way I wanted to be treated. Many religions and cultures have adopted this selfless altruism, so why couldn’t I? I found that repeated biting of the tongue does wonders, and treating him like I would like to be treated makes for a happy home. It also turned out to positively affect him in his actions, as well. The Golden Rule most definitely has reciprocal effects!
I Admitted I Am Not Always Right
This one took the most effort. It seems that during a discussion, or disagreement, that many people argue their points to prove they are right. In simple discussions, where there is no much-to-be debated “gray area”, this may be the case. In those more heated discussions where a multitude of factors are involved, including some personal ones, no one is necessarily “right”.
I now take more time (and effort) to listen intently on his points, and add my opinion without the subtle demands to agree with my opinion. When having an open mind and being more of an attentive listener, I have realized that no, I am not always the right one, and I don’t always have to be right.
I Opened My Mind
When you adopt an open mind, and add in a little flexibility, it seems that it adds to the positivity to each day. Taking a little mental energy and thinking about all options before immediately jumping to conclusions or only relying on your personal beliefs is something that takes practice; in a relationship it may be well worth it. I have learned that before I make any decisions, I carefully consider his thoughts and all options that are available. I also noticed that when having more of an open mind, he now seems to think a little more outside the box, as well.
Each of these attitude changes I made was in place a few years ago. It took time to make the adjustments and become more knowledgeable of ways to alter how I viewed various situations, and, in turn, the way I reacted to those occurrences. Our relationship has always close and content; we argued like any other couple would, and perhaps more so than some when it came to certain hot-button topics.
Now, our relationship is nothing short of incredible, because when I changed my attitude, it, metaphorically speaking, reflected off of me and onto him. When I was becoming more agreeable and respectful, he was doing the same. We now find humor in the little things, including our annoyances, and laugh a lot more… together.